Page:Don Quixote (Cervantes, Ormsby) Volume 2.djvu/30

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
8
DON QUIXOTE.

one—and finding on the beach a little bark without oars, sail, mast, or tackling of any kind, in the intrepidity of his heart flings himself into it and commits himself to the wrathful billows of the deep sea, that one moment lift him up to heaven and the next plunge him into the depths; and opposing his breast to the irresistible gale, finds himself, when he least expects it, three thousand leagues and more away from the place where he embarked; and leaping ashore in a remote and unknown land has adventures that deserve to be written, not on parchment, but on brass. But now sloth triumphs over energy, indolence over exertion, vice over virtue, arrogance over courage, and theory over practice in arms, which flourished and shone only in the golden ages and in knights-errant. For tell me, who was more virtuous and more valiant than the famous Amadis of Gaul? Who more discreet than Palmerin of England? Who more gracious and easy than Tirante el Blanco? Who more courtly than Lisuarte of Greece? Who more slashed or slashing than Don Belianis? Who more intrepid than Perion of Gaul? Who more ready to face danger than Felixmarte of Hircania? Who more sincere than Esplandian? Who more impetuous than Don Cirongilio of Thrace? Who more bold than Rodamonte? Who more prudent than King Sobrino? Who more daring than Reinaldos? Who more invincible than Roland? and who more gallant and courteous than Ruggiero, from whom the dukes of Ferrara of the present day are descended, according to Turpin in his 'Cosmography'? [1] All these knights, and many more that I could name, señor curate, were knights-errant, the light and glory of chivalry. These, or such as these, I would have to carry out my plan, and in that case his Majesty would find himself well served and would save great expense, and the Turk would be left tearing his beard. And so I will stay where I am, as the chaplain does not take me away; and if Jupiter, as the barber has told us, will not send rain, here am I, and I will rain when I please. I say this that Master Basin may know that I understand him."

"Indeed, Señor Don Quixote," said the barber, "I did not mean it in that way, and, so help me God, my intention was good, and your worship ought not to be vexed."

  1. The first nine are heroes of Spanish chivalry romance; the others are from Boiardo and Ariosto. There never was any such book as Turpin's Cosmography; it was Ariosto himself who traced the descent of the dukes of Ferrara from Ruggiero.